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WARNING: Beware this ‘Royal Mail’ text message scam

WARNING: Beware this ‘Royal Mail’ text message scam
Image source: Getty Images


Be careful: there’s a clever ‘Royal Mail’ scam on the go right now, and it’s already costing victims hundreds of pounds. Here’s how the scam works and what you can do to stay safe.  

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What is the latest Royal Mail scam?

Out of nowhere, a text message arrives, seemingly from Royal Mail, and it all seems perfectly legitimate.

The text tells you that there’s a package waiting for you, but it can’t be delivered until you pay the shipping fee (usually £1.99, or £2.99) by clicking a link. 

Click the link, and you’ll land on a website that resembles the real Royal Mail site. You input some details and pay the ‘fee’.  

The problem? It’s a scam. Once you’ve handed over your payment details, fraudsters can impersonate you and:

  • Buy things using your credit card or bank details 
  • Steal money from your bank account
  • Make loan or credit applications in your name 

These types of scams are increasingly common nowadays. This makes them all the more worrying. And, although your bank may reimburse you, it’s not guaranteed. It’s crucial that you take steps to avoid these scams in the first place. 

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How can I tell if the message is from Royal Mail?

How can you spot the difference between a fraudulent message and a real one? Here are some tips: 

  • Are you expecting a parcel? If not, be suspicious. 
  • If there’s a customs fee due, Royal Mail will usually send you a grey card telling you about the charges and how to pay them. They most likely won’t send a text first.
  • Royal Mail won’t send text or email tracking notifications unless you request them. If you know the sender, you can always check with them to see if they’re using a tracked service.   

If in doubt, reach out to Royal Mail before clicking anything or sharing your payment details. Even if you are genuinely waiting for a parcel, there’s still a chance you’ve been targeted by fraudsters. 

How do I report a Royal Mail scam?

Have you received a suspicious text or email claiming to be from Royal Mail? Don’t click anything. Instead, here’s what to do:

  • Report it to Royal Mail by completing their online form
  • Or report the scam to Action Fraud. If you’re in Scotland, you’ll need to contact Police Scotland instead.

While it’s tempting to just delete the message, reporting these fraudulent texts and emails can help keep everyone safer. 

Takeaway

Phishing scams and fraud attempts are a huge problem in the UK right now. It’s crucial you know how to spot the signs and protect yourself. Don’t click links in texts or emails you’re not expecting, keep your passwords safe, and never give your PIN to anyone.  

Are you the victim of an online scam?

  • Reach out to Action Fraud or Police Scotland for more advice.
  • Contact your bank or credit card company immediately. They can block further activity on your account and, potentially, help you get your money back.

If you’re not sure where to start, it’s best to contact Citizens Advice for more help.

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